Scotland Week kicks off annually on Tartan Day (April 6th) and fun and festivities last an entire week in both the U.S. and Canada. The finale in New York was a colorful and fun Tartan Day Parade, complete with bright felt kilts, and a lot of revelry.
But when I was invited to partake in some Scotland Week activities, little did I know I’d be releasing a bit of my inner Picasso with a painting lesson by the Scottish Artist Hazel Campbell. Hazel was in New York City in honor of the Year of Creative Scotland campaign, and she regularly gives painting lessons in her hometown in a quaint studio on a beautiful Galloway farm.
A few bloggers and I were given empty canvases, pots of acrylic inks, long and elegant paintbrushes and bamboo sticks to embrace our inner creativity, and were just encouraged to spill our creativity. Some writers painted their image of Scotland (impressionist style), others just danced to the tune of their own colors. Hazel just asked us to relax and not over analyze everything. “There is absolutely no right or wrong,” she said as she beautifully got to work, mixing and matching colors on the tray and letting her imagination run wild. Here are Hazel’s “rules” to let go:
- Don’t worry about form?the painting will take a life of its own;
- Work within a small framework if you don’t want a painting that’s too large;
- Become a child again: release your inner creativity and embrace everything;
- Play with the paints! As adults it’s so easy to find it difficult to let go but that’s precisely the reason you should paint.
The soft-spoken and elegant Scottish artist, Hazel Campbell, who taught us to release our inner kid through a paintbrush
By the end of the lesson, which was filled with laughter, cookies, delicious sandwiches and desserts?we were all a bit less “New Yorker” in our mentality and a bit more Galloway. But there was something so liberating about the whole experience?you see, I had never thought of painting as a way to understand the local culture. But it is very empowering?you should try it sometime.
My starting point
My version of Scotland?(don’t judge!)
A Hazel Campbell original
And if you are lucky enough to be in Scotland, and can visit Galloway, try your hand at one of Hazel’s classes:
SUMMER CLASS DATES FOR HAZEL CAMPBELL’S “PAINTING FOR PLEASURE” CLASSES May: Weekend course: Sat 12th May – Sun 13th May 2012 ?100 June: 5 day course: Mon 11th June – Fri 15th June 2012 ?220 Aug : 3 day course: Mon 20th Aug – Wed 22nd Aug 2012 ?150 All courses run from 10am to 4pm and include coffee, tea and lunches, which is a real steal. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. After the lesson, I must say, I felt very relaxed. It was almost as though I had been to a spa with colors and paint pots. Who would have thought this sort of release would be that good for the system?